Thursday, May 26, 2011

Beauty in the Life of the Church

A magnificent article by Fr. Richard Vigoa.
The earth is resplendent with the beauty of God. The civil calendar indicates that it is indeed springtime and a look at nature reminds us of this reality made manifest. Our liturgical calendar draws us into the Easter season.

Symbols, in our tradition, point to something outside of ourselves, to a greater reality, a reality of truth and beauty. We are reminded of the Easter Vigil, replete with symbols of light and darkness, life and death, refreshing waters, smells of fragrant incense and sublime music — reaching our every sense with the glory of our Risen Lord.

The 19th Century English Romantic poet John Keats once wrote: “Beauty is truth, truth beauty, that is all ye know on earth or ever need to know.” Keats was not exposing readers to a new, earth-shattering perspective on the world, but rather reflecting a long tradition that is echoed through the annals of history from the foundation of the world.

We find the concept of beauty in a privileged place in the works of Plato and the ancient Greeks, the Israelites in the Old Testament and into the Christian period in the writings of St. Augustine of Hippo. Our Lord is quoted by St. Matthew when he says: “Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these” (Matt 6:28-29). It seems Jesus is trying to point to a natural, objective reality concerning beauty. Indeed, beauty is an innate part of the human spirit.(Read entire article.)

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